Live from Brussels – Issue 113
I am delighted to be joined by HOTREC’s new President, Alexandros Vassilikos, to welcome you to the first issue of our ‘Live from Brussels’ newsletter in 2023. Together, we wish you a New Year full of joy, health, and hospitality.
Looking ahead at the year, we have three main wishes and are determined to see them fulfilled to the best of our abilities.
First, we want to continue building on the good numbers seen in the second semester of 2022 after years of COVID. However, we hope to find solutions and stability for businesses facing doubts about their- future caused by the war at our borders, the rising costs of food and energy, inflation, and the lack of labour so that our sector can thrive again. This needs a strong and united European response.
Second, we will put our combined efforts into ensuring that we offer a robust and insightful organisation to our members so that they can aspire to a more prosperous future. We are sure that with the support and guidance of our new Executive Committee and the commitment and expertise of all our members, we will help hospitality move forward.
And third, we aspire to creativity! Knowing that our sector is one of the most resilient there is, we know that innovative solutions can lead to transformative tourism and hospitality sectors that contribute to a strong European economy.
The Swedish presidency of the Council of the EU, which kicked off on 1 January, will be one of our key partners and will play a determinant role in shaping the EU response to current issues. We trust them to help us bring hope and stability to the industry. In this issue, we were honoured to discuss the priorities of the Swedish Presidency regarding tourism with Ambassador Torbjörn Haak, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden, whom we thank for his precious insight.
2023 is starting at quite a pace! We are looking at bringing the voice of HOTREC in many different key topics such as energy support measures, attracting and retaining the workforce, pushing for a level playing field between STRs and hotels, succeeding in the sustainability transition and changing to reuse and refill packaging.
We are happy to see that tourism will be stronger in Europe as, on 1 January 2023, Croatia adopted the euro as its currency and fully joined the Schengen area. This territory of freedom, convenience, and opportunity that the EU and Schengen make possible is now available to the vibrant hospitality sector of Croatia.
We look very much forward to working together on all HOTREC priorities. We have a lot ahead of us, but we stand ready and united to make a difference in the hospitality sector in Europe.
We wish you a fulfilling and prosperous 2023!